Thirty-five-year-old David Taylor of Eunice, was operating an 18-wheeler northbound on state Highway 13. Seventeen-year-old Joshua O’neal of Pine Prairie, was standing in the northbound travel lane of state Highway 13 when the truck driver saw him. The driver of the 18-wheeler veered right in an attempt to avoid O’neal, but the front left fender struck O’neal in the northbound lane of state Highway 13. O’neal, came to rest in the roadway and was transported by Air Med to Lafayette General where he later died Monday, July 28, from his injuries.
According to the report, alcohol was not suspected to be a contributing factor and no charges have been filed as the crash investigation continued.
This was the 37th fatal crash and the 41st fatality Troop I has investigated thus far in 2008.
Trooper David Anderson, public information officer, would like to remind residents to remember to wear their seatbelts. He said seatbelts are not as confining as a wheel chair or a casket. “Alcohol or Drugs, Impairment is Impairment! Drive Impaired, Get Arrested,” he added.